Hundreds mourn Rabbani as Taliban claim responsibility for killing
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Hundreds of Afghans on Wednesday protested at the assassination of former president Burhanuddin Rabbani, who was killed while negotiating with Taliban emissaries in his role of head of the peace council set up by President Hamid Karzai.
Under heightened security several hundred mourners marched to Rabbani’s home in Kabul, carrying pictures of the dead Tajik leader and wearing black headbands.
Several government officials arrived to pay their respects.
President Hamid Karzai rushed home from the United Nations and chaired an emergency cabinet meeting to discuss giving Rabbani an official funeral, which is expected to take place on Thursday or Friday;
The murder “will not deter us from continuing down the path we have started”, he said.
Iran on Wednesday dubbed the killing a “terrorist act” perpetrated against “a friend of Iran” and claimed that it the failure of the US-led intervention in Afghanistan to establish peace.
"As soon as Rabbani came three steps forward to hug Mohammad Masoom, he triggered his explosive-filled jacket killing Rabbani, [another] Taliban militant Wahid Yar and four security guards present at the house," he said.
The Kabul police chief's office, in a statement, said the explosives had been hidden in the suicide bomber's turban, when he and an accomplice arrived at his villa, supposedly bringing “special messages” from the Taliban.
The High Peace Council paid tribute to its late chairman, describing him as a “great leader of jihad”.